Change for Spain: Markel Zubizarreta appointed as sporting director

Midfielder Alexia Putellas (C) of Spain's women's national football team attend a training session in Gothenburg, Sweden, on September 21, 2023, on the eve of their UEFA Nations League football match against Sweden. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)

Markel Zubizarreta, the former sporting director of FC Barcelona, has joined the Royal Federation of Spanish Football (RFEF).

Since Jorge Vilda left — who was in the World Cup winners’ organisation as a coach and sports director — real change is promised.

Spain needs significant changes after all the problems the team has gone through during the last year. And the Federation thought about Zubizarreta to transform these desires into facts.

Shaping a new era in women’s football

Zubizarreta is well-known for his success in Barcelona, bringing in promising talents like Salma Paralluelo, Vicky López and Giulia Dragoni. Notably, he played a crucial role in recruiting top-tier international players such as Fridolina Rolfö, Caroline Graham Hansen and Ana-Maria Crnogorčević, among others — creating the best team in Europe nowadays.

Markel Zubizarreta talking with Alexia Putellas in Madrid. Photo @sefutbolfem
Markel Zubizarreta talking with Alexia Putellas in Madrid. (Photo by @sefutbolfem)

He is one of the best sporting directors in the women’s football world, having a very accurate eye for picking the players that would fit in a club and having the ability to convince and bring them there.

Zubizarreta constructed a new era in Barcelona, and his mission is to do the same with Spain. On his first day at work, he met the players called for the Nations League international matches. This roll call included Alexia Putellas, despite her non-injury but pain in the knee.

Markel Zubizarreta, key to bring back important players

Zubizarreta has a good relationship with all Barça players, as he worked with them for many years. Now, he will be key in reuniting Spanish national team players who refused to play in recent years.

Patri Guijarro, Mapi León and Claudia Pina will be closer to returning if a confident person, such as Zubizarreta, is there.

But Zubizarreta is not the only one expected to participate in these changes. He arrived at the Spanish organism with Gonzalo Rodríguez. The former delegate of the female team ended up in the male team. Then, he started his new adventure with Zubizarreta in RFEF.

With them in the Spanish Federation, changes are starting to show up. The conditions the World Cup champions asked for are being answered — slowly but with firm steps.

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